Daily Brief: Thoughts on Chicago Bears Draft Shuffle

Anything of course is possible. If an NFL team wanted to mortgage all their draft capital over the next five years to the Chicago Bears for Justin Fields, I don’t doubt it would have been seriously considered.

I have no great insight into the Chicago Bears and their quarterback outside of watching all of their 2022 regular season games. I still remember game one, play one, where Fields was thoroughly blindsided. Then there were the flashes of elite brilliance with his movement and legs. By the end of the season, having effectively no O-line for protection and his hip obviously bothering him, he looked exhausted and spent in ways we spectators cannot fully appreciate.

Assuming the obligatory “Fields needs to stay healthy,” he will be in his prime over the next 2-4 years. A team with as many deficiencies as the Bears cannot gamble away a three-year veteran, who has shown steady improvement and likely still the fastest quarterback in the NFL, on hopes of a savior which has alluded the team for, well, nearly 40 years.

A well-establish team running on all or mostly all cylinders might have had good reason for a QB switch, at least for exploring the possibility. Might a top college prospect be a better long-term fit into a proven organization? That is not the type of question the Bears in early 2023 have the luxury to ask. They need to fill their many holes, acknowledging they have, at worst, a very above-average quarterback serviceable in the short term if not longer. What the Bears really need are options and prospects and opportunity, which can be made probable by hoarding draft picks and also leveraging their current advantageous position (cap space) in the FA market. That seems to be exactly the strategy the Bears are executing with the Carolina trade.

Final verdicts on draft moves are always in the future. Check again in five years to see how the Bears and Panthers fared from the 2023 NFL draft.

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